Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Migrant Trade Union Chief Anwar Hossain Freed!

April 25, 2006- Seoul, Korea

Anwar Hossain, President of the Migrants' Trade Union, was released from immigration detention today at about 5:45 pm after spending the last 11 months in Cheonju Detention Center. The Korean government cited his deteriorating health and two pending court cases as reasons for his release. Anwar was released on an open bond- the MTU paid the Korean government about $500 US Dollars for Anwar's release in exchange for an open-ended visa so that Anwar can receive medical treatment and recove rfrom his time spent in detention. There is no time limit on his stay in Korea.Anwar was greeted by more than 200 supporters and migrant workers upon his release. In a statement he gave to the Korean press, he said that he will keep fighting until every last migrant is free from detention and can have the freedom that he has today.

Tomorrow Anwar will be admitted to the hospital to receive much needed medical treatment for injuries sustained during his arrest, as well as health issues that he suffered while in jail.Anwar's release was unexpected and the news came after a week in which 4 migrant workers in Korea died trying to escape immigration crackdowns and another died while on the job. Pressure, within Korea and from abroad, hasbeen intensifying against the Korean government to release Anwar and stopthe violent crackdown on migrant workers.

The MTU would like to thankeveryone who has sent letters on Anwar's behalf, attended protests andrallies and helped in innumerable other ways. Anwar's release would nothave been possible without their help.The MTU is calling on all workers in Korea and around the world to uniteso that all may be free from oppression and discrimination. We at the Migrants' Trade Union firmly believe that an injustice to one is aninjustice to all and we will continue to fight together to free everyonefrom oppression.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Pyeongtaek Unrest Continues

Looks like things went to hell yesterday in Pyeongtaek; meaning, it looks like the police, army, or whoever have finally evicted everyone. Who are these guys with the riot shields? they don't look familiar to me, are they construction workers, hired thugs --as in gangs-- or some special deputies or police I haven't heard about?

You can read more about this issue and the previous protests on our blog here and here. The Korea Herald ran a story on the topic today as well, Farmers injured in base protest. There were more than farmers involved from what I can gander from this post in Korean of pictures and a report from the protest. I looks like unionists and other protestors were involved. The pictures of the roadblock and the man under the truck are disturbing and difficult to figure out (was he blocking it or was he run over?). I'm looking forward to finding more stories in English on exactly what went down. Seems there are lots of injuries.